Will Old-School Green Groups Sleep Through the Earth Summit?

A little leadership, people?

Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)/Flickr

As you may have heard, President Obama is being cageyabout whether he’ll attend the Earth Summit in Rio next month. You know, it’s just the FUTURE OF THE PLANET that’s up for discussion. Nothing big. Maybe he’ll go. Maybe not.

As it happens, we were in the same situation 20 years ago, as the 1992 Earth Summit approached and George Bush Sr. was giving it the old, “Well, maaaaaybe …”

Back then, a group of the major, mainstream environmental groups in the U.S. rallied for the cause. To convince Bush he should attend, they enlisted none other than Darth Vader. Well, his voice, at least — the actor James Earl Jones. They made the spooky film clip below, replete with — is that the Pony Express or the Horsemen of the Apocalypse? — and then ran it in movie theaters around the country. Jones did the voiceover. Need I even tell you that Bush Sr. decided to attend?

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The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.